Semi-Truck Accident Attorneys
Despite the snow in the forecast, Keisha convinced her parents to let her pick up her friends in the family minivan so they could go out to dinner and a movie. Even though she had just gotten her driver’s license, Keisha had practiced driving in the snow often over that past winter. She knew what to do.
Keisha grabbed the keys, shouted goodbye to her parents, and ran out the door, determined to enjoy her new-found freedom. As she pulled onto the freeway, Keisha noticed the snow was starting to pile up on the roads. The tire tracks of the cars ahead were the only indication of where the lanes were.
Far ahead in the distance, Keisha could just make out red brake lights. It’s just traffic, she told herself. Traffic is always worse when it snows. Keisha took her foot off the gas and began to apply pressure to the brake pedal, but the minivan didn’t slow down. She felt the van’s tires sliding on the slick road. She removed her foot from the brakes and tried again. This time the wheels gripped, and the van began to decelerate.
The next thing she saw was headlights in her rearview mirror. A semi-truck was barreling towards her at an alarming speed. She didn’t even have time to realize what was happening before the truck collided with the back of the van, causing it to lurch forward and plow into the car ahead of her. The van didn’t stop there, though. The truck’s momentum propelled the van forward, pushing it into one car and then the next.
Utah drivers of all ages share the roads and highways with semi-trucks, and unfortunately, this leads to hundreds of accidents involving these heavy vehicles. The semi-truck accident lawyers at LifeLaw have seen firsthand how impactful these accidents can be, damaging property, impacting short and long-term health, and causing fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been in a collision with a semi-truck, through no fault of your own, you need an experienced semi-truck accident attorney on your side to win you the settlement owed you by the insurance company. LifeLaw will fight for you and for the compensation you deserve.
Dangerous by Nature
Drivers along Utah’s Wasatch Front share the road with more semi-trucks than drivers in any other state. One-quarter of the vehicles on Utah’s roads are semi-trucks — double the national average. While we all depend on these commercial vehicles to transport goods, groceries, and fuel, driving with them poses a unique hazard to Utah drivers. In 2022 alone, there were 43 commercial vehicle-related fatalities in Utah.
Semi-truck accidents are unlike many other road accidents and incidents because semi-trucks are vastly different from other vehicles. At 72 feet long, many semi-trucks weigh over 80,000 lbs. Their massive size and weight make them challenging to maneuver. It takes drivers longer to respond to changing traffic patterns and road conditions, especially during inclement weather.
To understand why semi-truck accidents are so dangerous and often fatal, consider the following semi-truck characteristics:
- Increased Stopping Distance: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that while a car traveling at 65 miles per hour can stop in 316 feet, a semi-truck traveling at the same speed will need 525 feet to come to a complete stop.
- Higher Gross Vehicle Weight: Because semi-trucks weigh more than 20 times what the average car weighs, accidents between cars and semi-trucks can result in significantly more damage to the cars and their drivers than an accident involving two cars.
- High Center of Gravity: With much of the truck and trailer’s weight held high over the large tires, a semi-truck is more prone to rolling when involved in an accident, blocking roads, colliding with other cars, and spilling potentially hazardous cargo on public roads.
- Large Blind Spots: Equipped with blind spot detection systems, modern cars warn against changing lanes when a car is hidden from view. Semi-truck trailers obscure the driver’s view of cars in other lanes as well as behind them, giving them a limited perspective of the traffic around them and increasing the potential for collisions.
Semi-Truck Accident Injuries
Being in an accident with a fully-loaded semi-truck weighing two tons or more can lead to disastrous consequences for accident victims. Common injuries Utah semi-truck accident attorneys see as a result of these crashes include:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Bone fractures
- Head and spinal cord injuries
- Rib injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Internal organ damage
- Wrongful death
These serious injuries can cause lasting physical pain and disabilities. They may interfere with your ability to work and participate in daily activities you once enjoyed. In many cases, semi-truck accidents take a mental and emotional toll as well. Making a full recovery may not be possible, and healing will take time.
According to the National Institute of Traffic and Highway Safety (NHTSA), in nearly three-quarters of semi-truck accidents, the truck driver is responsible for hitting the driver of another vehicle. If this was the case in your accident and you suffered severe injuries, having an experienced legal team on your side is vital.
How Can LifeLaw’s Semi-truck Accident Attorneys Help
Accidents involving semi-trucks can have devastating effects on individuals and families. The truck accident attorneys at LifeLaw are experts in Utah’s accident laws and will help you and your family through the process of filing a claim. Our team of legal professionals takes pride in offering the best experience and outcomes possible for each client.
The key to any case is in the details. Understanding your accident and your unique situation guides our attorneys in determining how best to serve you. To get you the best settlement, we need to know the full impact of the accident on your life.
- What is the extent of your injuries?
- Will you make a full recovery?
- Do you have significant health care bills to pay?
- Will you need ongoing medical treatments, surgeries, or therapy?
- Are you able to return to work?
- Do you need help at home with family responsibilities?
- Is your partner taking time off work to care for you or other family members?
- Do you have additional childcare expenses or needs?
- Do you need skilled nursing care at home?
- Will you have diminished earning potential?
- Do you need emotional support or counseling?
Between doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and daily routines, there may be little time left to devote to your legal battle. Your semi-truck accident attorney at LifeLaw is available to answer questions for you in the way that works best for your schedule. Feel free to schedule an appointment in our office or contact us by phone or email. We want to keep you updated on the progress of your settlement while giving you time and space to heal.
LifeLaw’s attorneys are Utah residents that drive alongside the same trucks on the same roads as you. They understand the unique hazards posed by a combination of Utah’s unpredictable weather and an unusually high number of commercial vehicles and tractor-trailers on Utah’s highways. Your accident and resulting injuries should not define the rest of your life and destroy your financial future. Together, our attorneys have decades of experience trying semi-truck accident cases for residents of their home state. Their expertise in filing truck accident claims will work in your favor.
At LifeLaw, the most important client we have is you. We know that you have a choice when choosing a Utah semi-truck accident attorney, which is why we focus our time and energy on helping every individual and family. We are dedicated to getting the best outcome for you, allowing you to focus on your future rather than the past.
Truck accident injuries can be life-altering or even fatal. Whether you are recovering at home, confined to a hospital bed, or mourning the loss of a loved one, we can work your case around your personal needs. Unable to travel? We can come to you or make arrangements to talk online. Let us take care of your case. We’ll contact you only as much as necessary to build a strong case and maintain momentum toward a fair and equitable resolution.
Our top priority is to help you on your road to recovery in the best way we know how. Our knowledgeable and caring legal team is committed to helping you and your family get back on track after your accident. You are the reason for everything we do.
When To Call a Semi-truck Accident Lawyer
The best time to call an experienced semi-truck accident attorney is now. The insurance company is a for-profit business. Their goal is to keep insurers in the black by limiting the amount they pay out in settlements to accident victims.
To the insurance company, you and your family are a claim to be settled. While they will consider the circumstances of the accident, their settlement offer won’t take into account all the ways the accident changed your life forever. They won’t know about all the surgeries, the limited mobility, the headaches, and the fact that you can’t hike or ride bikes with the kids anymore. They won’t hear about how you won’t be able to travel for months or the thousands you lost on reservations for a trip to Italy you had to cancel. They won’t know how the accident changed the rest of your life unless someone tells them.
At LifeLaw, we make sure that the insurance company knows the whole story. You shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden, emotional trauma, and physical pain of an accident that was not your fault in silence. Let our Salt Lake City semi-truck accident attorneys go to work for you to ensure that your voice is heard and your needs are met.
There is no fee or obligation to meet with a LifeLaw attorney about your semi-truck accident. Call us today and tell us your story. We’ll go to bat for you to get you the settlement you deserve.
Driving Safely Around Trucks
Even the most careful drivers can get in accidents. However, understanding the limitations of the semi-trucks around you on the highway can help you keep yourself safe on the road. Educating yourself and your family about semi-trucks can go a long way in preventing these life-altering accidents. Keep these tips in mind the next time you take to Utah’s roadways.
- Know the “no-zones” – Large trucks have large blind spots on the sides, front, and rear of the trailer. If the driver can’t see you, you are more likely to be hit. Stay out of these no-drive zones.
- Give trucks space – Semi-trucks take longer to accelerate, change directions, or stop. If you stop suddenly or cut in front of the truck, there may not be room for them to stop before hitting you. Allow extra room between you and trucks on the road, especially during inclement weather.
- Yield – It may be tempting to try to get ahead of a truck merging onto the freeway or trying to pass. However, these risky maneuvers can put you at risk. Yield to these larger vehicles and allow them to share the road.
- Pass with caution – Just as trucks lose speed driving up steep grades, they gain speed going back down. Downhill sections of road are not the best places to pass a truck. Wait for a flat section or an incline to make your move. If you must drive in the no-zone to pass a truck, spend as little time as possible out of sight.
- Stay back – 18-wheelers have 18 wheels, all of which could suddenly give out. A blowout on a tractor-trailer can cause the driver to lose control of their rig and can send a tire forcefully through the windshield of anyone following too close. Give yourself room to respond should the truck encounter a sudden problem.
- Watch the turn – Trucks pulling long trailers cannot make tight right turns and may need to swing wide to make right turns. Pay attention to the truck’s turn signals, and never try to pass a truck on the right. It may look like you can squeak by now, but as they turn, the gap will close.
- Be courteous – Semi-trucks require more time and space than cars. They also need more patience from drivers around them to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Allowing them the time and space they need to safely navigate the road will keep everyone out of dicey situations and help reduce the number of semi-truck accidents.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should I do after a semi-truck accident?
Call the police, and get medical treatment. If your injuries are severe enough go to the hospital. If it is safe take photos and videos of the accident scene and vehicle property damage. Get an attorney, a personal injury attonrey will help you navigate the remainder of your case. There job is to worry about your case so you don’t have to.
2. How do I report a semi-truck accident to the authorities and my insurance?
After you have made sure everyone involved is safe and you have moved the car to a safe location call 911. This will ensure that an officer will arrive at the scene and make a detailed report of the accident, and give their opinion of who is at fault. Be sure that you exchange insurance information and contact details with the driver of the semi-truck and anyone else who was involved in the accident.
After the accident:
Report the details of the accident to your insurance company, and open a claim against the other driver’s insurance. A personal injury lawyer can aid you with opening a claim and any other details of your case.
3. Should I seek medical attention after a semi-truck collision, even if I feel fine?
Yes. Typically it is a good idea to be evaluated by a medical professional after a car accident. Some injuries can take time to manifest, in part because of your bodies release of endorphins and adrenaline after a traumatic experience. An early evaluation can help reveal injuries that may have gone unnoticed and can help your recovery go as smoothly as possible.
4. What evidence should I gather at the scene of the accident?
If it is safe to do so, take photos and videos of where the accident occurred and any property damage to all vehicles involved. Make sure you gather all of the contact information of anyone involved in the accident get their: names, phone numbers, insurance details, vehicle information, license plate number, and the contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident.
For a semi-truck accident be sure to get the commercial driver’s license number and identifying information about the trucking company. If possible note the type of cargo that the truck was carrying, especially if it can contribute to the severity of the accident. If a driver has admitted fault, try to get a recording or a video of them admitting to fault at the accident scene. If there were any dashcams or video footage try and obtain the footage.
5. Who is typically liable in a semi-truck accident: the driver, the trucking company, or both?
Liability can be attributed to the driver, the trucking company, or sometimes both depending on the circumstance. The truck driver may be liable for negligence such as distracted driving, fatigue, or traffic violations. While the trucking company cna be held responsible under the doctrine of “respondeat superior” for actions like negligent hiring, poor maintenance, regulatory violations, and inadequate training. Additionally other parties can be at fault such as manufacturers, cargo loaders, and maintenance companies if their actions contributed to the accident. Liability is determined through investigation and is often shared among multiple parties, making it essential to seek legal advice to navigate the complexities of liability and compensation.
6. Can I pursue compensation if I have been injured in a semi-truck accident?
Yes, you can pursue compensation if you have been injured in a semi-truck accident. If you are found not at fault you are entitled to seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and poosibly punitive damages for egregious negligence. The process of pursuing compensation involves establishing liability, and given the complexity of commercial vehicles and industry standards we strongly advise seeking the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. At LifeLaw our attorneys are experts at navigating legal intricacies, gathering evidence, and negotiating with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation.
7. What is the potential value of a settlement in a semi-truck accident case?
Every semi-truck accident case is different so placing a direct dollar amount to any given case can be difficult to do. The settlement you may receive after a semi-truck accident is dependant on several factors, these being: severity of injuries, medical expenses, lost income and earning capacity, pain and suffering, property damage, punitive damages, and insurance policy limits. Typically semi-truck accidents result in higher case settlements as the minimum insurance policy on a commercial truck is $750,000. For a case with high policy limits an insurance company will try and give you the short end of the stick, hiring a personal injury attorney will ensure that someone is fighting the insurance for your best interests.
8. What is the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after a semi-truck accident?
In Utah, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit, including those arrising from a semi-truck accident, is generally four years from the date of the accident.